Electric Truck News Roundup: GM's Big Bet on Electric Trucks, Rivian Subscriptions, Bollinger Reveal

Bollinger B2 Pickup Truck Front Angle Profile

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By Nick Kurczewski

Depending on where they're going to be built, electric pickup trucks could be a boon for some and a bust for others. At GM, both scenarios are possible as the automaker pushes forward with plans to introduce an electric-powered pickup. While that's great news for some within GM, it doesn't alleviate the company's plan to close a handful of factories and lay off thousands of workers.

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Despite being a newcomer to the automotive world, Rivian is also looking to do things differently. This time, the electric truck manufacturer appears to be toying with the idea of a subscription-based service. Details are scarce, though this move could allow the Michigan-based company to sell directly to consumers, minus the need for an extensive dealer network.

And finally, the electric truck world has another new entry. Bollinger recently revealed near-production versions of the B1 sport utility and B2 pickup. These rugged electric trucks have more than 600 horsepower, all-wheel drive and are set to go on sale in 2021.

Electric Pickups Could Make (and Break) GM

How much potential does an electric pickup truck have for GM? If you're an employee of the U.S. automaker, the answer has a lot to do with where you live and where you work. As this Bloomberg report points out, the company's move to electrification can be a boon for some factories but a complete bust for others. While some facilities are being closed, particularly those building less popular economy cars and sedans, others are ramping up to build more EVs. This internal logistical battle is a large part of the ongoing strike at GM, which began Sept. 15.

Earlier this year, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company would invest approximately $8 billion into the development of electric vehicles. This is in addition to billions of more dollars being poured into the development of self-drive systems and fully autonomous vehicles. These plans include an electrified version of GM's most popular vehicle, the full-size Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. Details are few, though reports suggest production is expected within two to three years. This follows the electric truck plans of Ford with its own F-150 EV, along with Tesla's upcoming entry in the truck market. The Tesla truck will likely be revealed before year's end, possibly around the time of the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Rivian Subscription Service

Rivian is working on a way to deal directly with customers interested in the upcoming R1S sport utility and R1T truck. One solution that's in the works is a subscription-based buying program, according to a report published by Automotive News (subscription required). Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said this kind of sales model allows the fledgling company to have "direct ownership of our customers." Vehicle subscription services typically involve a flat monthly charge, which includes the cost of the vehicle and insurance fees. Also included are any needed maintenance and service requirements, apart from filling up with gas — or in the case of an EV, plugging in for a recharge. Scaringe did not elaborate on the subscription plan or offer any specific price.

For reference, subscription programs offered by Cadillac, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz have ranged in price from around $700 per month to nearly $3,000 for access to the most expensive models.

Bollinger Electric Trucks Break Cover

There is a new entry in the electric truck world, and its name is Bollinger. Or more specifically, the Bollinger B1 SUV and B2 pickup. Classified as Class 3 trucks, the same as heavy-duty versions of trucks like the Ford F-250 and Ram 2500, the hand-built Bollinger duo have a bare bones interior that doesn't include carpeting, airbags or other modern conveniences found in most new trucks.

The near-production-ready versions of the two electric trucks made their debut at a media event held near Bollinger's headquarters outside of Detroit. Powered by an electric drivetrain that delivers approximately 614 horsepower to all four wheels, the B1 and B2 are intended to be hardcore off-road vehicles.

The 120-kilowatt-hour battery pack is mounted within the chassis, which allows for some clever packaging. Open the front and rear cargo areas, and you'll see a pass-through extends the entire length of either Bollinger truck.

Despite stretching more than 175 inches long and weighing about 4,800 pounds, Bollinger estimates the B1 and B2 can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. Range is pegged around 200 miles or, according to company founder and CEO Robert Bollinger, about 10 hours of rock-crawling capability.

Online orders can be placed now, though deliveries of the first production models won't occur until 2021. A production site must be finalized first, and first-year sales will be limited to 1,000 units. One item missing from the spec sheet is a price. A likely price tag puts the B1 and B2 close to $100,000 apiece, though more should be revealed in the next couple of months.

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